Ghostbusters: Afterlife First Trailer Held Off on Revealing the “Big Stuff”

A largely unrevealing first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife released in December was purposefully restrained, according to star Finn Wolfhard, who adds audiences haven't "seen the big stuff yet." Set 30 years after Ivan Reitman's original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, the Jason Reitman-directed Afterlife follows the family of a late founding Ghostbuster: the teenaged Trevor (Wolfhard), younger sister Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and struggling mom Callie (Carrie Coon). When strange rumblings shake the otherwise sleepy town of Summerville, Oklahoma, seismologist and part-time schoolteacher Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd) is recruited to investigate the paranormal happenings — spooks left for moviegoers to discover when Afterlife scares its way into theaters this summer.

When appearing on filmmaker Kevin Smith's latest episode of the SModcast podcast, where Smith aired a suspicion "there’s a whole lot of movie [studio Sony Pictures is] not even talking about," Wolfhard said "that's the point" of the reserved first look footage.

"It’s a very surface level [trailer]," Wolfhard said. "There’s footage, but you have not seen the big stuff yet."

Wolfhard also confirmed he shares scene with Rudd, who is "the nicest [guy], and one of the purest dudes who still just loves comedy."

"He just is there to make people laugh, that’s why he does it. He’s also one of my favorite [actors]," Wolfhard added. "Wet Hot American Summer and all those movies, he’s a legend."

Rudd's Ghostbuster fanboy Grooberson is surprised to see Phoebe in possession of a ghost trap — originally believed to be a replica of the mostly forgotten paranormal exterminators — and he's even more surprised to see a terror dog, glimpsed in the latter half of the first trailer. There will be plenty of ghouls in Afterlife, most of them achieved through the use of old-school practical effects.

"What’s amazing about Jason is, and Jason said it in interviews too, there’s a lot of practical effects," Wolfhard said. "And a lot of the effects that you think would be CGI are not, which I was so happy to be part of."

There are "big things" in the movie, but at its heart, Wolfhard said, "a lot of it is about loss." Producer Dan Aykroyd, who also reprises his role as original Ghostbuster Ray Stantz, previously described Afterlife as "scary" but also "thought-provoking" and "very heartfelt," noting it pays mind to lost loved ones.

During Ghostbusters Fan Fest celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 1984 blockbuster over the summer, Reitman revealed he consulted a think tank comprised of many of the creative and artistic minds who helped bring his father's Ghostbusters to life when making what is canonically the franchise's third film.

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"We reached out to all the originals — the cast, the crew, the people who made [Ghostbusters] — and we even formed this kind of small group that gets together, an advisory board of people who worked on the original film, to make sure that we make the right film," Reitman said.

From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens July 10.

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